Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Golf Is The Greatest Game Ever Played

I can't take credit for this list, but it was too good not to post. Special thanks to Rongo Jugataris for this one.

1) The PGA doesn't have some of its golfers in jail every week.

2) Golfers don't throw bottles at or kick dirt on other people.

3) Professional golfers are paid in direct proportion to how well they play.

4) Golfers don't get per diem and two seats on a charter flight when they travel between tournaments.

5) Golfers don't hold out for more money, or demand new contracts, because of another player's deal.

6) Professional golfers don't demand that the taxpayers pay for the courses on which they play.

7) When golfers make mistakes, no one is there to cover for them or back them.

8) The PGA raises more money for charity in 1 season than the NFL does in 2 seasons.

9) You can watch the best golfers in the world, up close, at any tournament including the majors, all day every day for $25 or $30. (I'm a bit skeptical about this price, but I'm too lazy to do any research this morning.)

10) Even in the nose bleed sections, a ticket to the Super Bowl will cost you over $300 to $1000 from a scalper.

11) In golf you cannot fail 70% of the time and make 9 million dollars a season, like the best baseball hitters (.300 batting average) do.

12) Golf courses don't ruin the neighborhood.

13) And best of all, here's why golf courses have 18 holes, instead of 10 or 20: During a discussion among the club's membership board at St. Andrews in 1858, a senior member pointed out that it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch. By limiting himself to only one shot of Scotch per hole, the Scot figured a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out.

Here's my two cents:

-Golf is the only game where there are no referees, officials, or umpires. Players are expected to, and always do, call penalties on themselves.

-Golf is one of the few remaining sports that demands players be both gracious in defeat and humble in victory.


Phil Stiefel said...

If golf is so amazing when are we playing.... even a morning at Clayton Park for 2 hours

Brian O'Rourke said...


I'm game. But this weekend is out. What's July look like for you?

BTW, Clayton Park has come up at least three times in the last month. A few people at work just started playing and hacked it up at CP.

Phil Stiefel said...

I drove by yesterday before going to batting cages and was almost ready to skip the cages to play but didnt... I can play anytime practically as long as I know a few days in advance... preferably in morning

seanag said...

Seize the day, guys!

Nice list, Brian. And I liked your additions. Hadn't thought about there being no referees before.

marco said...

Golf has also long been a very classist game- in some cases with clubs maintaining a "no blacks, no women" policy well into the nineties.
But of course the main problem is the environmental impact of golf courses round the world. Fertilizers, chemical pesticides, destruction of biodiversity,huge water consumption. There are plans for two golf courses + tourist complexes in a radius of less than 20 miles round where I live - lots of money for some at the price of the destruction of small but beautiful woodland areas. It's no secret that the creation of golf courses is opposed by local communities nearly everywhere.

v-world: hopping

Brian O'Rourke said...


Sure, golf is not without its faults, but this post was more about the unique nature of the game as compared to other sports. Golf is defined by honor, respect, and classiness. In this day and age, these things in other professional sports seem to be more the exception, not the rule. That's what makes the game so special.

While golf was exclusionary - it isn't anymore - so too were all other sports ever played. Racism can be found in all sports, just as much so, if not more so, than in golf. I know this from personal experience, having been a white guy who grew up playing basketball. It was always assumed I didn't have any game because of the color of my skin.

As for denying women membership, such as is the case at Augusta, it is a private club and it's their right to have that policy as a private club. I don't agree with sexism, but it's their club to do with as they please. I also have trouble making any meaningful distinction between Augusta's decision to do that from when me and my buddies get together for a "mancation," or when my wife and her friends get together for a girl's night out/weekend. The need to have "man time" or "woman time" is I think part of our genetic code and can't be denied.

seanag said...

Brian, I'll leave Marco to, shall we say, puzzle out the rest of this with you, but I do think there is a meaningful distinction between a private club's decision to exclude women and what really amounts to a consensual decision to have occasional gender separate activities.

Having had two younger sisters, I'd also say that the surest way of getting people to want to be let in on something is to say, 'you can't come'.

marco said...

I agree with Seana. I could continue arguing , but I don't want to be too polemic .

adrian mckinty said...


I dont know. Did you read those stories in the NYT at the weekend about golf rage? Slow play, rule violations etc. are all at the back of it. Thats why I prefer the driving range - stress relief without the hassle.

Brian O'Rourke said...


First you decide to give all those bad hyperlinkers a reprieve, and now this? You are mellowing in your old age.

Brian O'Rourke said...


Off-topic, but how is your sister doing? Better, I hope.

Brian O'Rourke said...


As per usual, you are better read than me. I didn't read those stories in the NYT.

I'm not surprised by the slow play at the Open. That's the nature of the beast, and I think the USGA is trying to come up with a solution to the problem. Do you remember what the rules violations were?

seanag said...

She's doing very well--thanks for asking, Brian. I was talking with her on the weekend, and she has become obsessed with the young King of Bhutan and his commitment to improving his country's Gross National Happiness. It's an interesting concept. Perhaps golf should be factored into its equation.


Brian O'Rourke said...


That's a very interesting concept, perhaps it's a model the US should look into adopting.

Golf might not be a good indicator, because for many it's a frustrating, but addictive, game.

seanag said...

I suppose that we should probably just let Bhutan do the test run and see how it goes.

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Anonymous said...

Albiet many statements are true... BUTTT
You're right, there are no refs or umps, but there are a number of officials who regulate play. You cannot talk or take photos or distract the player. Can you imagine refs hushing the crowd before a basketball player takes his freethrow? Or during baseball, or football games? That's absurd. Why do golfers require such concentration but not the other sports?

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